The only year that I missed the Minnesota State Fair out of the 20 I've spent on planet Earth was because I was away in college. That was in 2015. When the 2016 fair rolled around, I was three months into my plant-based conversion. I was nervous to go to the fair with my meat- and dairy-eating friends because I didn't think there would be any options for me. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that there were many things I could indulge in.
As the years went on, I discovered even more plant-based options being sold at the fair. From fried pickles to apple cider freezes, these options are available to enjoy without feeling guilty about eating meat from the cow you just pet.
Here are 10 vegan foods to keep on your radar at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair:
1. French Meadow's Earth Wings
This option is premiering this August. Sold by French Meadow Bakery (which I would strongly recommend for their impressive vegan menu), I am most excited to try this food. There's something incredible about fried cauliflower impersonating a chicken wing and I presume French Meadow's take on it will be more than satisfying.
2. Fresh French Fries
French fries: a vegan's worst diet nightmare. Making the list of my top 10 all-time favorite foods, this stand's attempt at the perfect french fry has nailed it in my opinion. Fresh, hot and perfectly crispy, you can get these at multiple locations so you don't have to walk mile-wide laps to find them. Although it probably wouldn't be a bad idea for your waistline.
3. Apple Freeze
Coined City Pages' best state fair food in 2018, this refreshing freeze located in the Horticulture building is an excellent option to cool you down and satisfy your tastebuds.
4. Corn Roast
Sans-butter, this is one of my favorite plant-based options at the fair. This choice is perfectly charred, easy to carry and just might make you return for a second round.
Minneapple Pie's Deep Fried Apple PieGiphy
Hold the ice cream and you have yourself a heavenly classic: apple pie. The twist? It's deep-fried and dairy free! Cure your sweet tooth with something unique and satisfying.
6. The Perfect Fried Pickles
Pickles are delicious on their own. But when The Perfect Pickle adds a crispy layer of fried goodness around them, you forget what a normal pickle tastes like. At this stand, vegans don't have to opt-out of the fair's massive fried food get together.
7. Dole Whip Soft Serve Ice Cream
If you're looking for something cold and sweet that won't make you feel guilty going to the cow barn afterward, this ice cream is for you. With an option of eating it in a cone or a dish, the Dole Whip is a perfect stop for you sweet tooth.
8. The Produce Exchange's Peaches
These simple peaches are far from ordinary. They are ripe, colorful and bursting with flavor. After one bite of this peach, you'll be contemplating purchasing a dozen.
9. Island NoodlesGiphy
Tucked away in the International Bazaar, these generously-portioned noodles are perfect for a meal as you do some exploring. It's a box filled with perfectly stir-fried soba noodles and plenty of veggies that are sure to steal your plant-based heart.
10. Frozen Grapes on a StickGiphy
Sold by Bayou Bob's, these frozen grapes will allow you to rejoice in the "on-a-stick" tradition that circulates the Minnesota State Fair. Packed with just the right amount of sweetness and heat-fighting temperature, this vegan treat is a perfect choice to cool you off as you roam the fair.
Whether you're a vegan or simply looking for something lighter, these are some of the best plant-based options at the upcoming 2018 Minnesota State Fair. The only thing now that needs to happen now: vegan cookies by Sweet Martha's.